Building a simple home studio is getting easier today because we can purchase the equipment in an affordable price range. Besides input and output, we also need an interface to connect them together, especially if you are recording and mixing in a computer. Behringer UM2 Vs UMC22 are two affordable and reliable tools to have that we can use to connect the input and computer but, are also slightly different so go check what they can offer below before making any decision.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- Do you need an Audio Interface
- What are Behringer UM2 and UMC22
- What Behringer UM2 and UMC22 Look Like
- What Behringer UM2 and UMC22 can offer to you
- How are the Sound Quality of Behringer UM2 and UMC22
- Behringer UM2 vs UMC22
Music is universal and we love listening to them anytime of the day since it can boost our mood or even make us more focus on whatever we are doing right now. Its common purpose is entertainment but, for many of us, they can give another color to our day and even help us when we are feeling down. Depend on personal taste, our preference in music can be similar or very different and that is fine for we should enjoy what we love.
The majority of us may be listeners who never create music or have no plans to be a musician but, there are also those who not only love listening to their favorite genre but also making some on their own. Music producers can be professional or hobbyist, no matter what the circumstance is the fact that we enjoy the activity should be enough reason to continue doing it. However, unlike consumers, producers will need more equipment to complete the task.
Those who only enjoy listening will only have to own an audio storing device like cassette, smartphone or MP3 player and the output like headphones, earphones or speakers. On the other hand, those who also made music will need more beside those two including the input such as microphone and instrument, a computer for recording and processing, and a monitor or speaker like Adam A7X vs Yamaha HS8. The reason why we choose a studio monitor instead of regular speaker is because they let you listen critically.
But, among those device or tools, there is one equipment we also need to have when using a computer and it is an audio interface. This tool is the one we use to connect microphone and instrument like guitar to the computer because the one we have in our PC are very limited. Again, the consumer grade quality of PC connectivity will not give us a professional sounding results that we seek as well enough connectivity to fulfill the amount of input.
For example, we want an XLR connection for the microphone and maybe a high-Z phone plug-in input for the guitar. Headphones when connected with XLR will have more gain and sound clearer and overall will be a far better connectivity options as well as better converters with less jitter, noise and latency than what we get on our PC. When looking for an audio interface, our needs may not be the same so it is best to get the one that at least have all the type of connectivity or additional features you require.
About Behringer UM2 and UMC22
For a simple bedroom studio setup, we don’t need anything fancy and many affordable interface out there are already enough to fill the gap between your input and computer. They are mostly basic model with two or three input connections that we can use at once as well as very little adjustment on board yet, this amount should be enough for regular users. With the increasing demand on interface due to the amount of aspiring musicians today, manufacturers are also offering a huge options to choose from.
If you are concerned about the budget and want to look for something that won’t ask much from the pocket, Behringer is one of the best brands to go because they have a wide range of options from those priced quite up there to those we can afford anytime. This manufacturer used to be a German based brand but now they made the product in China while the company itself is owned by Music Group based in Metro Manila chaired by the founder of Behringer himself.
This company offers audio equipment including audio interface and if you specifically don’t want to spend more than $100, Behringer UM2 and UMC22 are two reliable options to consider. Both of them are a basic model from the company and very similar to each other with only one microphone and one instrument jack as well as output plug but, while from specification they are almost identical, the sound quality is in fact not which makes the latter being a better option as long as you don’t mind the price addition.
Behringer UM2 and UMC22 Design
Upon first seeing these two audio interface, they are not similar at all, especially on the build and design because we can feel that the cheaper model is made from plastic while the latter is metal as well as the whole box which is wider in UMC22. Like many other interface, this model place its controls on the face while the little brother slightly twist the knob at the top that can be better or not depends on the user’s preference.
They have the same height and depth but when you place them side by side, UMC22 is overall longer and consume more space. Comparing the knobs, UM2 has a bigger controls but it felt cheaper than the smaller knobs we have in the other interface.
Behringer UM2 and UMC22 Features
Coming into the features part, they have the same features that are placed on the body and there is actually no unique or additional connections we get from the Behringer UMC22 despite the more expensive price. As you can see, we have one XLR/TRS jack to connect your microphone and near we also have an instrument port to send your guitar sound to the computer. Next there is LED that indicates the signal being sent and the other when they are clipping.
We also have a pair of knob to control gain for both input and the other for adjusting the volume level. At the far right, we have a headphone connection with a direct monitor button when you need to listen to the signal being sent at the same time. Flipping the interface, there is one different thing and it is the output connection because in UM2, we have 2 RCA unbalanced output while on the UMC22, we have balanced TRS connection.
Behringer UM2 and UMC22 Sound Quality
Coming into the audio quality, both of them also have the same specification since they equally have 48k sample rate and a bit depth of 16 bit. They are claimed to have dynamic range of 100 dB but, when tested there is something different since it is not completely true for UMC22 have dynamic range of 87.5 dB while the UM2 have dynamic range for about 85 dB. Moving into the preamp quality, these interface use a different technology and probably the most important one is Xenyx while the other is Midas.
However, on the test, their noise performance are somehow very close to each other; the UM2 have Equivalent Input Noise of -127.2 dBu and the latter is on -127.9 dBu. In number they are very close to each other but for our ears, they are practically identical so we don’t think it will matter too much in real life condition. The reason for this surprising similarity despite labeled with different preamp is because they used the same low noise preamp IC which is the NJM 2122.
However, there is a little bit difference in noise though which affect UM2 since this model introduces some additional interference noise, making it have a slight buzzing sound and this is thankfully not present in the UMC22 at high gains setting. The rest of these interface capability or specification also stays the same with provided gain at 48 dBFS, microphone input impedance at 3 Ohm with the same handling capability at +22 dBu.
As for the driver, they are using the same codec IC since Behringer doesn’t provide the proprietary driver for both of UM2 and UMC22 anymore but, there are those older driver we can find on the internet. The problem for this program is on the clip level since it doesn’t match with the clip level in the interface and it can be an issue for it will introduce some additional noise.
Now, let’s compare Behringer UM2 with UMC22. As it has been mentioned above, both of them are very similar to each other and there is hardly any difference beside the UM2 is Xenyx and UMC22 is Midas since the performance are very much similar. But, the prominent difference between the two in real life will be UMC22 has a higher dynamic range and doesn’t have that buzzing noise when in high gain setting as well as has a better build quality in case you are not very gentle with the device.
Behringer UM2 vs UMC22
All in all, the decision is all yours to make because not all of us will have the same preference so it is best to get the one that fits your taste or setup requirement the most. Comparing both of them, their sound quality not differ much but we will go with Behringer UMC22 for its dynamic range and less additional noise as well as build quality.